Review of Platinum End - Chapter 1

Ian Wolf

Symphogear
AUKN Staff
<b>Review of Platinum End - Chapter 1 by Ian Wolf</b>

<strong>Platinum End &copy; 2015 by Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata. SHUEISHA Inc.</strong>

<em>"No-one on earth could feel like this.
I'm thrown and overblown with bliss.
There must be an angel
Playing with my heart.
I walk into an empty room
And suddenly my heart goes "boom"!
It's an orchestra of angels
And they're playing with my heart." - Eurythmics.</em>

Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata are possibly the most famous duo in manga. They first made a name for themselves with <em>Death Note</em>, whose lead character Light Yagami became the most infamous, deadliest, and arguably most popular serial killer in comics. Then they moved onto <em>Bakuman, </em>a series&nbsp;about two boys who create their own manga, lifting the lid on <em>Weekly Shonen Jump</em>'s internal workings.

They have done their own projects. Obata in particular is famous for the manga adaptation of <em>All You Need is Kill</em>, which I named the best new manga release of 2014&nbsp;last year for&nbsp;<em>MyM Magazine</em>. Now they are working together on this new series which launched this week in <em>Jump SQ</em>. While in the old days you would have to wait months, perhaps years before they were available in English, here Viz Media are translating each chapter into English as they come out, and you can buy each chapter individually and download them onto your computer, tablet, etc. Is Viz's effort really worth it? In short, yes.&nbsp;

<em>Platinum End </em>begins with student Mirai Kakehashi having just graduated from school. This is, however, not a moment for celebration. In fact, his entire life has been wretched. His family were killed in a car crash, which meant he had to move in with his uncle and aunt, who abused Mirai&nbsp;and treated him as a slave. Thus he decides to end it all&nbsp;by throwing himself off the roof of the tower block he lives in.

However, he fails to hit the ground. He is&nbsp;instead caught by an angel, who at the end of the chapter reveals her name to be Nasse. Nasse is Mirai's guardian angel, devoting herself to protecting him&nbsp;and helping him in any way she can. She does this by offering Mirai both freedom and love. The freedom comes in the form of a pair of angel's wings, allowing him to fly at a speed impossible to detect with the naked eye. The love comes in the form of "Angel's Arrows", red octahedrons which, when they hit a target, make that person fall in love with Mirai for 33 days. He just wants to die though;&nbsp;even when he is told to choose one or the other he lazily asks for both. Both is what he gets, as the asking to choose is reportedly just a custom. Thus Mirai is given an "Angelic Necklace" that actives his wings on command, and an "Angelic Bracelet" that launches his arrows. Only other angels and the people they guide can see them.

Mirai tests out his wings, allowing him to fly all over the world. When Nasse says that he can use them to help him&nbsp;do things like stealing, Mirai says that this something that a demon would do. Nasse says there are no demons, only the evil in the hearts of humans, which in turn leads her to reveal something horrifying about the death of Mirai's family. Upon learning this, he uses his arrows to prove beyond doubt that the information Nasse has given him&nbsp;is true. He also discovers that when people love him&nbsp;they will seemingly obey any command, which results in Mirai learning the dangerous side of his powers.

Nasse therefore devotes herself to guiding Mirai to greatness -&nbsp;for what she has not told him is that up in heaven God is retiring&nbsp;and that a new God needs to be found. 13 angels, including Nasse, have been sent forth into the world, each one finding their own candidate to be God, with the final choice being made in 999 days time. Will Mirai become God?&nbsp;

Reading the opening chapter you instantly start to make parallels with <em>Death Note</em>: the central character is a teenage boy fed up with life, who is guided by a supernatural force and given great power. Both leads&nbsp;seemingly find&nbsp;themselves on the path to becoming a deity. However, while Light Yagami uses his powers for diabolic ends, killing anyone he suspects of doing anything wrong while being observed by a shinigami, Mirai Kakehashi is guided by an apparently&nbsp;more benevolent force. Whether Mirai takes the path of righteousness or not remains to be seen.

Another difference is that towards the end of the chapter we learn about Nasse's motivation, and the competition that will inevitably begin between Mirai and the other candidates for God chosen by the other angels. It looks as if we have the beginnings of a "Death Game".&nbsp;

This opening chapter certainly leaves its mark. This becomes most evident when Mirai uses the arrows for the first time and learns how powerful they are. The result is shocking and may disturb some readers.

<em>Platinum End </em>has certainly made a good start. Some may argue that it is not as original as it could be given how similar it is to <em>Death Note</em>, but that remains to be seen. Ultimately it will depend on how Mirai's moral compass differs to that of Light, and the methodology of how they will get what they desire.

<b>Final score: 9 out of 10</b>
 

Demelza

Adventuring Alchemist
AUKN Staff
Main character looks just like Light, this team has a thing for characters like that...

I found it fairly interesting but I am worried that it won't be original enough as it does feel like Death Note, even in the angel powers he has as the arrows are effectively as strong as the Note was. I'm hoping it doesn't become a game of death otherwise it'll end up very Future Diary to me.

I have faith in this team to do something interesting, so I guess we'll see. Good review, Ian!
 

ConanThe3rd

Railgun
Not paying into a model that could potentially limit the number of series running in Jump Alpha given Bleach, Nisekoi and Toriko needed to get run out of town yesterday.
 

Buzz201

Mad Scientist
Also, £1.20 for 90 pages is a joke, at least compared to the WSJ magazine. I can only assume they'll drop the price with the page count, but if they don't, its hard to view it as anything other than a total rip off. (Although I suppose the ~66p Viz's own website are charging is a better price than I was expecting.)
 
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